Contemporary short fiction, poetry and more

Monthly Archives: August 2012

‘Grist’ poets at the Ted Hughes Festival 2012

I will be introducing the appearance of the ‘Grist’ poets at the Ted Hughes Festival this year.  The festival is held in Mytholmroyd, West Yorkshire, where Ted was born.

The reading will take place 2-3pm on Saturday 20 October. 

Tickets cost GBP 3.00, or GBP 10.00 for a pass to all events at the same venue on the same afternoon.  They go on sale on 10 September, from


The ‘Grist’ venture, sponsored by the University of Huddersfield, has a Facebook page.  If you are interested in contemporary writing in English, please ‘like’ our page.

For What Is Chatteris Without You In It?

This is a song by Half Man Half Biscuit.  It appears on the album, ‘Achtung Bono’. 

The description of Chatteris (a place in Cambridgeshire) sounds very much like Horbury, where I live. 

By HMHB standards, this is one of their more melodically sophisticated songs.

The lyrical sophistication, and the surrealism, are, of course, ever-present.

What we get is a commentary on what goes on in Chatteris, super-imposed on a love-song about the difference between the narrator and his putative love.   This is nothing more nor less than the economic potential difference between Liverpool and Cambridge. 

And it is genius.  This is motivated by the same forces that shaped “I Want To Hold Your Hand”, and “Nowhere Man”.  The fact that the originators of this intellectual property have not earned as much money as their predecessors is merely an accident of history.